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ERIC Number: EJ769576
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0730-8639
Spreadsheet Simulation of the Law of Large Numbers
Boger, George
Mathematics and Computer Education, v39 n3 p175-182 Fall 2005
If larger and larger samples are successively drawn from a population and a running average calculated after each sample has been drawn, the sequence of averages will converge to the mean, [mu], of the population. This remarkable fact, known as the law of large numbers, holds true if samples are drawn from a population of discrete or continuous values, or from a population with a skewed distribution. The purpose of this article is to present an "Excel" workbook to use in an undergraduate introductory statistics class to simulate an application of the law of large numbers. The constructed workbook spreadsheets use standard "Excel" functions and do not require any higher level programming. Once built, the workbook can be reused for another application of the law of large numbers. Results of a simulation are graphically displayed in a chart. By looking at the plot of the Individual Items in a graph, students see that a random activity is unpredictable in the near term. However, as guaranteed by the law of large numbers, the average of the process settles to the population mean, [mu], over the long term. (Contains 3 figures and 5 tables.)
MATYC Journal Inc. Mathematics and Computer Education, P.O. Box 158, Old Bethpage, NY 11804. Tel: 516-822-5475; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A